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WORKER CAUGHT WITH A FIREARM WITH TWO SERIAL NUMBERS IN NIMT DOUBLE-MURDER CASE

 

By: Ludorf Iyambo

 

Immanuel Hangula, an employee of NIMT double murder accused, Ernst Lichtenstrasser, was found with a firearm bearing two serial numbers.

 

Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef had called Hangula to stand before the court and give evidence in the trial which commenced after Lichtenstrasser was denied bail at the beginning of this year.

 

Hangula on Thursday told the Windhoek High Court that he was given the firearm by his “boss” to protect his property at the farm.

 

“The shotgun was meant to protect livestock, sheep, and goats against predators. In 2016 when my boss gave me the gun and four ammunition, I used them to train myself how to shoot. I used to put an object in front as my target,” said Hangula.

 

According to Hangula, the firearm had two different serial numbers, one- A32 990 inside the barrel and 285 381 on the butt plate.

 

Lichtenstrasser’s lawyer, Albert Titus, asked if Hangula was told by the accused that the firearm had two serial numbers.

 

The witness stated that his “boss” did not point out the serial number to him, but he, however, told him that serial numbers are always written on the gun.

 

Albert, however, put it to the judge that the accused denied ever giving the firearm to Hangula.

 

“Hangula was not an employee of my client. He just came to stay on his farm because he had no place to stay. That is the reason he is still there. That firearm does not belong to my client.

Hangula has narrated to the court that he was aware that the firearm did not have a license,” he said.

 

Hangula, in his witness testimony, said that Lichtenstrasser had told him that he would put the gun in his name.

 

Another witness, warrant Ruben Abraham, told the court that on 24 May 2019 he and his colleague Joseph Uushona went to the accused farm in search of that firearm.

 

“We asked Hangula about the firearm and he confirmed that it was in his possession. The farmworker also indicated to us that the firearm had two serial numbers. I asked Hangula to open the firearm and show us the serial number which he did and we confirmed,” he said.

 

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Hangula the 94th witness, in this case, said that he started working for Lichtenstrasser from 2016 to 2019.

It is alleged that Lichtenstrasser, a former lecturer at the Tsumeb campus of NIMT, shot and killed Eckhardt Mueller and Heinz Heimo Hellwig, who was the executive director and deputy director of NIMT, respectively at Arandis on 15 April 2019.

 

Mueller and Hellwig were killed when they were gunned down at the entrance of the NIMT offices at Erongo mining town.

 

It is alleged that before the tragic shooting, Lichtenstrasser was employed at the Tsumeb campus of the institution for a couple of years, which was close to his residence at Otavi, and was not happy about the decision to transfer him to the Keetmanshoop campus.

 

However, it is stated, the two victims were steadfast in their decision about the transfer despite his remonstrations.

 

The matter was postponed to 28 March 2022 for the continuation of the charge and the accused remained in custody.

 

 

 

Julia Heita

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